Still wondering who to vote for? Today we’re running profiles of the four major leaders, their platforms, and their scandals. Click here to see the rest of them.
Kathleen Wynne (Ontario Liberal Party)
Place Of Birth: Richmond Hill, Ontario (suburb North of Toronto) in 1953.
Religion: United Church
Education: BA at Queen’s University, MA in Linguistics at University of Toronto, M.Ed. in Adult Education at OISE, and a Mediation training degree from Harvard University
Life Before Politics: Community organizer, served as President of the Toronto Institute of Human Relations
Political Background: Public School Trustee for Toronto’s ward 8 (2000-2003), Ontario MPP for Don Valley West (2003-2012)
Current Position: The first female and the first openly gay Premier of Ontario (2013-), Minister of Agriculture and Food (2013-)
While the other parties have spent tons of time scaring you about how Wynne will increase your taxes, few people have actually taken the time to read the Liberal tax policy. That’s probably because tax policy is as dry as sandpaper, but somebody has to do it.
They propose to exempt 90 per cent of small businesses from the Employer Health Tax, which requires businesses to contribute to employee health insurance plans. So businesses save money! Yay! Employees may lose health benefits. Not yay.
The Liberal Party has left possibility open to raise taxes on high-income earners and Wynne stressed it as a possibility in the debate. While it’s easy to think that the only votes lost here are the top 2 per cent, they all go out and vote whereas the bottom 98 per cent think they’re too cool to vote, so that may turn out to be a controversial decision.
Wynne proposes increase taxes on aviation fuel by 4%. That affects just about nobody in normal terms, but if Air Canada flights out of Toronto get any more expensive the snow birds may start riots in the streets of either Toronto or Boca Raton, depending on the time of year.
What about pensions? She proposes creating a brand new shiny pension system (ORPP) to work alongside the federal one, taking 1.9% in forced contributions from employers and employees both for earnings under $90,000. That would mean you have less money from your paycheque now, but more when you retire! She’s clearly thinking long term, willing to let you be grumpy now so you can play that extra round of golf at age 75. She doesn’t specify the size of the contribution for higher salaries though, so that’s still up in the air (it’ll be more though, to subsidize the rest of us).
Education: The Liberals propose expanding school nutrition programs, career planning services for high-schoolers, and plenty of new spending. Lots of more money spent on our kids, which is pretty clearly going to make parents and teachers happy. Maybe your son or daughter’s school can get those new iPads they wanted.
Transit: $130 billion to infrastructure. That means trains, roads, highways, and so much more if Wynne keeps her promises. She probably came up with this idea while sitting in Toronto traffic.
Agriculture: Double jobs in agri-food industry. We’d give you more details as to how, but we don’t have them either. If we’ve learned anything in this election, it’s that promising new jobs is an important thing to do as a party leader.
Gas plant scandal: After shutting down two gas power plants, Dalton McGuinty claimed that these closures were $800 million cheaper than the number that was later revealed. To increase the streak of dishonesty, it was alleged by an independent investigatory council that the Liberals deleted masses of emails to hide any trace of their deceit, an activity that some suspect was supervised by Wynne.
#tractorgate: On the campaign trail, Kathleen Wynne drove a tractor with a local farmer riding shotgun, a truly reckless act and a violation of all the safety codes that probably exist somewhere. Also violating Ontario Agriculture standards, which Wynne should have known given her status as Minister of Agriculture. The Progressive Conservatives took it as an opportunity to criticize Wynne for being a bad example, and the Liberals struck back with a similar video of Hudak taken years earlier.
Real Estate Bailout and Taxpayer Blowout: Ontario Liberals paid $388 million for a $305 million building, after they gave money to finance it to a non-profit charity, and ended up having to buy the building when the charity couldn’t pay. Now the government owns the building and plans on renting office space from it while making a profit.
“My plan is to govern as long as I can.” I would’ve said ‘as long as the people 0f Ontario continue to elect me,’ but hey, to each their own.
“I’ve been driving since I was 19 years old.” Impressive.
“Voluntary measures are not enough.” On retirement savings. So, you don’t know what to do with your own money.
Be sure to check out the other three major candidate’s platforms here! And, if you want more hilarious and extensive Ontario election coverage as June 12 approaches? Go buy a shot glass or t-shirt from our IndieGoGo campaign! igg.me/at/truenorthtimes!